Cubes vs. Spheres is kind of like a horror game, but instead of hundreds of blood-lusting monsters shambling toward you, it’s cubes. Each level consists of a fairly open environment and, like in a nightmare, you can’t move. Then cubes start to approach. If three cubes cross into your territory, the game ends. All you have to defend yourself is a supply of spheres that you can flick, Skee-Ball-style. It may sound absurd, but when you see an onslaught of cubes clopping toward you like so many zombies, don’t be surprised if your pulse starts to quicken.
Since you spend most of your time in the game game flicking spheres at cubes, we’re glad to see that they’ve done a good job with the controls. Subtle shifts in the force and direction of your flick can have a major effect on where your sphere flies, but you’ll get the hang of it after just a few shots. You can also pan your view to the right and left by dragging on the screen. You’ll have to do this often, because the cubes come at you from all sides except for behind you.
Welcome to White Castle.
Even though the gameplay is simple, there’s quite a bit of variety in Cubes vs. Spheres. For one thing, the enemy cubes come in different colors and sizes. Red cubes can take one hit, black cubes are tougher, and transparent cubes are easy to overlook if you’re not careful. Large cubes take lots of hits and then break into smaller cubes that are tough to deal with if they get too close. What all the cubes have in common is that they always march forward, trying to end your game.
The other variable is your arsenal. Beating each stage nets you points that you can spend to upgrade your unlimited blue spheres, or to unlock and load up on special kinds of spheres. You can unlock a bomb, a cannonball, a sniper sphere, an ice sphere, and a decoy sphere. These special spheres come in limited supply, so you need to buy ammo for them individually. This isn’t a problem, however, because you’ll quickly amass more points than you can spend just by playing through the levels.
Are you scared of the dark?
Your performance on each level is graded with one, two, or three stars, or a perfect rating. We couldn’t quite make sense of the rating system, though, because sometimes we’d take several hits but still get three stars on a level. Other times we’d clear the stage perfectly in what felt like record time and get only one or two stars.
Another problem we had is that the screen isn’t always responsive to your taps. Sometimes it wouldn’t recognize when we tapped to load up a new sphere, or to split an upgraded blue sphere in mid-air. And finally, most of the levels are a cinch to complete, even without using special spheres, until you get to the second-to-last level, which seems nearly impossible.
But overall, we had a ton of fun with Cubes vs. Spheres. It’s a simple, addictive game that keeps the fun coming from start to finish. Better yet, it’s a universal app, so it plays nice with iPhone and iPads alike. If you’re looking for a fun and intuitive high score game, Cubes vs. Spheres is a solid bet.